GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My step daughter just passed the motorcycle safety course and is looking for a bike. I have shown her a couple of cruisers in the 600cc range and it turns out she does not care for that style. She does like the 600cc Ninja. I think this is too much for a beginner, but think the 250 Ninja is too small. Andi is about 5'5" and 120#s. She is big enough to handle it and reach the ground comfortably.

Many of you have owned the Ninja and it has a fine reputation. I am interested in your thoughts. I think this is where group knowledge comes into play. Thanks in advance for your time.
 

·
Misinformed Member
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
I don't know if this will help but my youngest son started with a 500 Ninja and it was a very good starter bike. Two cylinder and peppy but not super fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
I have not ridden the 250 Ninja but have an acquaintance (adult man in late 30s) who does Iron Butt rides on them. He loves them and has 4.

I am an MSF Rider Coach and really worry when folks make too big of a jump. There is a BIG difference between a 600cc cruiser and a 600cc sport bike. I have a friend who weighs in about 220 who races 600s.
 

·
Florida Moderator
Joined
·
4,617 Posts
I'll give you the benefit of my experience, gained by trying to find the right bike for my wife. She started out on a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 cruiser. She handled it like a champ and all was well till we took our first trip to the mountains. It was too heavy for her to back up on the slightest incline. She dropped it when putting her foot down on uneven pavement. We traded it on a Ninja 250 (old style) and she loved it. It was light, nimble, and very easy for her to handle. She rode it for two years and became very proficient. Next we went up to the Ninja 500 and this turned out to be the perfect bike. Still light and nimble, with plenty of power to stay on my tail through the twisties. She rode the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala, and Deal's Gap, once telling me over the radio, "you're in my way." Now here's my advice. The new Ninja 250 has been redesigned with more power, better handling, and good looks. I wouldn't mind having one for myself for short spirited rides. The old Ninja 500 can be had new for under $4K. Either bike is a great starter bike and easy to sell when you outgrow them. I would definitely not start anyone out on a Ninja 600. It's a whole different beast that can easily get away from the inexperienced rider. One other suggestion...buy a used starter bike. It's a rare individual who doesn't drop the bike several times during the learning process. Become proficient then think about a new bike. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,276 Posts
If you don't like her, over insure her and let her get the 600 crotch rocket. You want to keep her around put her on a 650 or so cruiser. After a year she buys what she wants. IMHO
Kurt :nojoke:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I'm 6'0 and right around 200#. My first bike was a Honda Nighthawk 700S. I learned how to ride on a Yamaha Fazer 600. Both bikes were inline four cylinders. They both seemed pretty quick to me UNTIL I sold the Nighthawk and bought a brand new 1992 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6. It was also an inline four cylinder. Once I had my 1000 break in miles, I cranked it up an wound it out through the gears. The acceleration difference between what I had been used to riding was unreal! The Kawaski had so much more power, it was mind blowing. Pretty sure I would have hurt myself if that had been my first bike.

I went through several more bikes over the years, 94 ZX9, 96 ZX7, 99 ZX11, 00 VMAX, before I got into cruiser bikes. The power to weight ratio of sportbikes (especially the new ones) compared to even a large cruiser are like apples to oranges. The bike I had before my Street Glide was a Harley Fat Boy with the big bore kit, bigger carb and cams, performance intake, exhaust, etc. It would have been absolutely decimated by the stock 1992 ZX6 I used to have. The braking and handling of sportbikes are pretty awesome too. I have been licensed for motorcycles for almost 25 years and would have a lot of reservations about recommending a sport bike as a first bike for anyone.

Don't let the relatively small engine size of 600 cc's fool you. A mid 2000's Honda CBR 600 has around 110 horsepower at 12,500 RPM, dry weight of 370 pounds, and a top speed over 150 MPH. With a lighter rider it will be all the quicker. Yamaha's and Kawasaki's sportbikes are similar power to weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,796 Posts
"Baby Steps."

I'd recommend the 250 Ninja for a starter if she's got her heart set on a sport bike.
Let her put a year/10,000 miles on it and then decide on the move up when she has a lot more experience.

If you're gonna have a regret, make it a financial one ("I could'a had a V-8") instead of regretting what can easily happen to a young, inexperienced rider on 'too much' bike.

At least she isn't suffering from testosterone poisoning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,496 Posts
Find one of the 2 cylinder bikes (even a 600) that has sport bike styling but a more traditional riding position. As stated by others above, a 600cc 4cyl sport bike should not be a first bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Like others i strongly recommend against a Ninja 600 for a new rider. My son had a ZX6 (which is the detuned version of the even faster 600rr) and it was a beast. First time he grabbed full throttle it almost slid him off the seat. It is nimble and comfortable for a short rider but the 250 or 500 are much better choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,551 Posts
My daughter is 5'4", 110lbs. She passed her MC test late last year.

We bought her a Ninja 250 after having her sit on various bikes at dealerships.

In stock form, she is she tippy toe'd, on the Ninja 250. I put lowering links on the rear and also brought the forks up a little. Lowered the bike about 1" overall. She's not quite flat footed, but can get the balls of her feet down n both sides.

Power wise, the bike is very mellow off the bottom end.

Being a cautious Dad, I still haven't let her out on the road on it, we've done a lot of parking lot riding. Unfortunately, she had two zero mph tip overs before I put the lowering stuff on it.
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Ninja 600

My daughter has a Ninja 600RR. The redline on the bike is 15,500 RPM and it is really, really, really fast! However, she worked up to it starting first on a Honda 250 and then a Kawasaki 500. I would not recommend it as a start bike. Too quick and too many chances for things to go south with no chance of recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
My step daughter just passed the motorcycle safety course and is looking for a bike. I have shown her a couple of cruisers in the 600cc range and it turns out she does not care for that style. She does like the 600cc Ninja. I think this is too much for a beginner, but think the 250 Ninja is too small. Andi is about 5'5" and 120#s. She is big enough to handle it and reach the ground comfortably.

Many of you have owned the Ninja and it has a fine reputation. I am interested in your thoughts. I think this is where group knowledge comes into play. Thanks in advance for your time.
I would have her consider the Ninja650R. Nice looking sportbike with more upright seating position, great handling, parallel twin making ~70 hp and 40 lb-ft torque, ~400lbs. Torque comes on at lower RPM making it a much easier MC for a beginner than the Ninja 250 or Ninja 600.

Should be lots of used, low mileage bikes in the $3K-$4K range. Also, R&G makes frames sliders that do not require cutting into the fairing. Useful for new riders who may drop the bike a time or two.

My wife rides one and is very pleased.

Good Luck
Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,974 Posts
Look at the Ninja 500. It has the styling she wants, but NOT the high HP and speed that we parents are scared of (at least when our kids are on the bike). They don't make em anymore (closest you can get is a 250 or a 650 twin), but they can be found for a very reasonable price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
Have owned a 08 Ninja 250 and a 03 Ninja 500. I was VERY disappointing with the 250, it was very underpowered and had terrible acceleration. My SO's Honda Reflex scooter (250) was faster on hills. I would not want to venture on any highway with one, but found it to be fun in twisties when riding alone. Higher RPM it buzzed really badly...not something I liked spending much time on.


The Ninja 500 was not much bigger feeling, but had nearly 2x the power. It was able to accelerate realistically IMO. My nephew used it for his starter bike for 2 years and did fine with it.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Everybody, thanks for all of the help. Andi has her own money and is 25, and has a carreer. I am glad she is letting me help her. I like the idea of acruiser first and then a sport bike if that is what she wants. I think the Ninja 500 to be a good idea. I am going to show her this thread.

Thanks again.

PS a thread with out flames!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I'm an MSF RiderCoach and my cohort is to. He is also a Lee Parks instructor and likes to do track days. He is a very good track rider. Last month he was at Willow Springs with his 675 Triumph triple and saw a Ninja 600 up ahead of him. Four laps later when he caught up he realized it was a Ninja 250.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,050 Posts
If you don't like her, over insure her and let her get the 600 crotch rocket. You want to keep her around put her on a 650 or so cruiser. After a year she buys what she wants. IMHO
Kurt :nojoke:
I agree with Kurt. A sports bike is alot for a first bike. A used Honda Shadow(750) with a one year agreement that if she is a responsible rider and sticks with it--then get her the sport bike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
At 25yrs old and being a new rider, she's not gonna want anything to do with the Ninja 500. WHy? It's fugly for gods sake. I'd love one but I'm in my 30's and don't care what other's think anymore.

The Ninja 650R, or ER6N (naked ninja 650r basically), might be much more attractive options to her. The parralel twin engine has enough power to satisfy a veteran rider but it's delivery is gentle enough for the newest of riders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
I'm an MSF RiderCoach and my cohort is to. He is also a Lee Parks instructor and likes to do track days. He is a very good track rider. Last month he was at Willow Springs with his 675 Triumph triple and saw a Ninja 600 up ahead of him. Four laps later when he caught up he realized it was a Ninja 250.

Hahahahaaha

It's not the bike that's for darn sure. I passed a guy on an older 600cc Yamaha on the Dragon last weekend while on the wing.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top